With ceramic coatings failing across the Country, we wanted to understand why this is happening. After talking to many pioneering industry professionals, we were able to identify three underlying factors that were causing ceramic coatings on the gelcoat and paint to fail.
1 - IMPROPER MAINTENANCE AND WASH CARE
Assuming the surface has been prepared and treated correctly, one reason why ceramic coatings are failing is due to improper wash care. Due to fancy marketing and false claims by other manufacturers, many yacht owners and captains have the common misconception that ceramic coatings are maintenance-free or they can continue to wash with the same harsh cleansers and stiff brushes that they used before. This is false.
The truth is, ceramic coatings reduce normal yacht maintenance like buffing and waxing, but proper maintenance and wash care is still required.
We would like to outline what proper maintenance and wash techniques should look like on a yacht with paint or gelcoat that has been sealed with ceramic coating and is kept outside, uncovered.
Type of Soap: Non-Abrasive - preferably biodegradable - Do not use soap with wax or other sealants
Type of Brush: Soft - Rule of thumb - “something soft enough to wash your face with”
Maintenance Spray: Every 1 to 2 months with a sprayable water based Ceramic.
"Hydro Charge" is a sprayable water based SiO2 manufactured by Sio Protect -
What not to do… :
Do not use stiff, abrasive brushes
Do not use soap with wax or other sealants
Do not use harmful cleaners
2 - POOR SURFACE PREPARATION OF PAINT OR GELCOAT
The covalent bonding properties of the coating are only as good as the prep work. Even though the paint or gelcoat may look clean, under a microscope, it may be a different story. Paint and gelcoat have millions of tiny pores that fill with microscopic dirt and grime. The objective of the prep work is to remove contaminants from the pores and refine the edges of the microscopic scratching so they are not visible to the human eye.
If the coating is not able to form a clean, covalent bond with the substrate, then the lifespan of the coating can be compromised and drastically shortened.
New boats that are popped from a mold at the factory and boats that have been waxed recently are no exception to the rule. The wax has to be stripped by lightly compounding and polishing. If not, the coating is only as good as the wax that it sits upon.
3 - "MARINE GRADE" CERAMIC COATING ONLY
In laymen’s terms, solvent-based ceramic coatings are composed of 3 materials; solvents, actives, and solids. The difference between ceramic coatings is the flash time, quality of materials and the ratio of solvent, actives, and solids.
Sio Protect treatments are military grade, approximately 3x more concentrated than its strongest sister automotive version and boasts a longer work/flash time than any other heavy-duty coating on the market today. Professional installers know that longer work time and the difficulty of removal and leveling is important to consider when using a daily basis.
The use of a marine grade coating gives a very deep and reflective shine. Other automotive coatings leave less protection and are most likely to break down and fail in tougher marine environments.
In tougher marine environments, life expectancy for a coating will be less than a yacht that it kept in dry storage and is washed by the same person after each use.
The life expectancy is really a function of the itinerary for the vessel, factoring in where it lives and if it’s using our maintenance products and plan. Other factors and characteristics include whether it’s gelcoat or paint and if so, what type, what age? A basic generalization would to reevaluate and possibly reapply after 12 to 36 months.
At Sio Protect, our strategic objective is to give the consumer and or professional applicator access to this technology at a price point where there is value in substituting ceramic coating for compounding and wax. If we can do that, then leveraging nanotechnology becomes a viable alternative to traditional normal boat maintenance.
Feel free to ask questions... We will reply shortly !